GovTech Asks: Why Should You Care About Open Data?
By Tim Cashman
An article on the Government Technology website from this week highlights the proliferation of open data initiatives across the U.S. The article states that 39 cities and 46 localities provide data sets to data.gov. As open data continues to evolve in the U.S. and around the world, now is a great time to evaluate progress and take a closer look at the latest developments in the movement.
The article lists 30 U.S. cities and states that have their own open data policies in place. The formation of an open data policy is seen as an important step in defining strategic goals, outlining key benefits, and providing the scope for data publishing efforts over time. Find out more on how to develop an open data policy.
Included in the article are four basic steps to launching an open data project, which generally align with the implementation approach that Socrata prescribes in our Open Data Field Guide. Beyond the list in this article, Socrata strongly encourages reaching out to developers and the larger community as a fundamental step in creating a sustainable open data program.
Another interesting feature of the article is an interactive map that shows which states in the U.S. have embraced open data. In particular, the author points out examples of cities with the most well-developed programs, including New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Socrata takes great pride in supporting the open data sites for these and other cities, as well as the majority of the states shown on the interactive map.